Palmeiro shed little light on why he tested positive

Updated: August 20, 2005, 3:31 PM ET
Associated Press

BALTIMORE -- Rafael Palmeiro failed to explain how a steroid entered his system when he went before a baseball panel several months ago to plead his case, The Baltimore Sun reported Friday.

The Baltimore Orioles star shed little light during his long statement on why and how he tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug, three sources familiar with the transcript told the newspaper. The sources were interviewed on condition of anonymity because they wanted to wait until Congress finishes its review.

In August, Palmeiro said he never knowingly used steroids. Through agent Arn Tellem he has said the positive drug test will be regarded differently once certain information is disclosed.

"There is another side to this story, and Raffy will tell it soon," Tellem said. "I hope that the public will wait to make a final judgment about Rafael until they hear his story in its entirety."

Palmeiro, who was not in the starting lineup for Friday night's game in Cleveland because of a sprained left ankle, said he doesn't know when he'll be able to speak out publicly about his ordeal.

"I have no idea," he said. "The thing with Congress is going on and when that's over with then maybe I'll be able to do it."

Palmeiro was greeted with a mixture of boos and cheers earlier this week while playing in Oakland, his first road games since coming off his suspension. He wasn't surprised by the varied reception.

"No one likes to get booed. You always want to be accepted, even when you're on the road," he said. "I've always had a good reputation and relationship with fans on the road. I've always taken time to sign and give them balls, and no one likes to be booed anyway. But what can you do?

"I hope that when I'm able to speak that they understand. I can see their frustration. I appreciate the fans who are not booing and I appreciate the fans who are supporting me. The ones that are booing I can't do anything about them."

Palmeiro is the most prominent major league player punished for taking banned drugs. The 40-year-old slugger tested positive in the spring. He challenged that finding at an undisclosed time before Major League Baseball's arbitration panel.

In March, Palmeiro testified before the House Government Reform Committee that he had never used steroids.

The arbitration panel has denied Palmeiro's appeal, saying the player failed to establish the positive test result was not his fault. The panel added it found that Palmeiro's testimony "in many respects was quite compelling" and there was no evidence he was "untruthful."

Baseball suspended Palmeiro for 10 days and the House committee is now examining arbitration hearing transcripts to determine whether Palmeiro lied to Congress.

Palmeiro tested positive for the powerful steroid stanozolol, a person with knowledge of the sport's drug-testing program has told The Associated Press. The person did not want to be identified because the sport prohibits disclosure of test results without authorization.

Experts say it is unlikely such a steroid could have entered his system accidentally.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press